Today I Learned

Today I learned that I have one ear longer than the other. You would think that by the time I got to be seventy-two years old I would have figured this out by now, but no. I found out today. The reason I found out was that I pierced my own ears today.

If the thought of that makes you cringe, I confess that I felt the same way until I was forced by circumstances to impale my own ear lobes. Here is what happened.

First, I went on a trip to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I had a wonderful six days visiting with old friends and checking out the neighbourhood. I have been thinking of moving there and this was a reconnaissance. I looked at condos and apartments and the waterfront and the parks and had a lovely time. The day before I left I bought a few mementos and among them was a pair of earrings. I bought them from a couple selling jewellery on the sea walk, and they were as lovely as the earrings.

A few days after I got home, I tried to put in the earrings before meeting a friend for lunch. After trying several times and making my ears red, I realized that my ear piercings had closed up. During the Covid years, I have been mostly housebound, mostly make-up-free, and mostly jewellery-free. That would be all well and good if I had not forgotten that ear piercings close up over time. That day, I remembered.

“That’s ok,” I thought. “I’ll just get them re-pierced.” After all, I have a jewellery box with a drawer full of earrings for pierced ears, and some of them come with lovely memories. So, I looked online to find out where I could go to get my ears re-pierced. It boiled down to two possibilities, an accessory store for teenagers and a tattoo parlour, and I wasn’t comfortable going to either so I delayed a decision.

A few days later I went for a walk with my younger son and explained my dilemma. He recommended the tattoo parlour over the teenage accessory store because he thought the latter used inferior equipment. My son gives good advice so I took that under advisement, but by then I had already sent for some gizmos from Amazon to pierce my ears myself. When I told him that, my son paused and said he thought that was a brave move.

Shortly after that walk, the Alberta provincial government put in place some new, more restrictive, Covid regulations. It is yet another lockdown but we aren’t calling it that and the government is making the regulations more complicated that the average mind can easily comprehend. Essentially, I’m going to avoid public indoor spaces for yet more unnumbered weeks.

So, when the gizmos arrived, they were put on the counter while I contemplated the need for courage and the expectation of pain. They stayed there for about a week, drawing my gaze, taunting me.

Today in an idle moment and after a glass of disinhibiting wine, I said to myself “The heck with it,” or words to that effect. The gizmos and I went into my bathroom and with surprisingly little difficulty, became as one. I am, once again, a pierced woman.

I thought this moment in time was worthy of celebration and so I took a picture to record the occasion. It was only then that I realized I have one ear lobe longer than the other. My new ear piercings are the same distance from the bumps at the base of the ear canals, but not the same distance from the bottom of the lobes. And that is how I came to learn that I have one ear lobe longer than the other. Sometimes learning comes in unexpected ways.

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